What Health CIOs Want in EDI

A while back, in response to my article about making the transition from IT to HIT, a poster posed a question about transferring garment industry EDI skills to HIT:

Interesting article but I also have a question – how does one transfer to Healthcare EDI. My colleagues and I have garment EDI skills – from setting up trading partners to mapping to troubleshooting and SQL reporting – but we are finding it hard to know what is required to be part of an EDI team in a healthcare environment. thank-you..

I spoke with Steve Garske, PhD, Vice President & Chief Information Officer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. While his answer wasn’t specific to EDI, he did speak to an overall skill set. I hope this helps.

If you are strong technically, then educate yourself on Electronic Medical Record (EMR) vendors and their products. Many have proprietary programming languages, but they all have familiar back-end database structures. Another area to educate your self is BioMed technology. With the transition of most biomed devices to telemetry or EMR integration, this area will continue to expand in the IT environment. The most important thing for us when considering candidates is their technical acumen, not their years in healthcare. The healthcare experience is important, but if I had a candidate that was more technically skilled versus one who had healthcare experience but was less tech savvy, then I would select the candidate with broader technical skills.